A new exhibit entitled “Views & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the Early 20th Century,” will open to the public on Wednesday. It will run until Oct. 31. The exhibit will be in the Yosemite Valley Museum (adjacent to the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center) and will feature photographs, prints, artifacts and ephemera from Yosemite’s early years. An opening reception will be held at the Yosemite Valley Museum on Tuesday from 5 to 7 p.m. There is no cost to attend and food and drink will be served.
The 20th century brought automobiles into the park, the construction of a train line to El Portal, development of new roads and hotels, increased popularity of camping, hiking and other outdoor pursuits, the beginning of the National Park Service, and a rapid growth in park visitation. A digital slideshow of historic photographs of Yosemite National Park visitors and digitized film footage of early auto stages, train travel and visitor activities will complement the exhibit of artifacts. A listening station will allow visitors to hear oral histories related to early park visits as well as historic musical recordings.
Early camp and hotel brochures, souvenirs and historic signs from this period will be on display. Additionally artifacts related to the Yosemite Valley Railroad, Yosemite Winter Club, Indian Field Days and the opening of the Tioga Road will also be shown. Art by Chiura Obata, Theodore Wores and Gunnar Widforss will be displayed, as will works by photographers George Fiske, Arthur Pillsbury, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams. Seldom seen items will include a 1912 Indian motorcycle that was one of the first to enter Yosemite National Park, as well as a dogsled that was used in Yosemite Valley in the 1920s.
The exhibit will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from June 8 through September 30, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the month of October.
“Views & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the Early 20th Century” was made possible through a grant from Yosemite Conservancy, as well as funding from the National Park Service. The park’s collection is supplemented by loans from DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc. and a number of private collectors.This exhibit, focusing on the 20th century in Yosemite National Park, is the second part of a series that was shown last year. Last year’s exhibit, entitled “Views & Visitors: The Yosemite Experience in the Early 19th Century,” focused on Yosemite during earlier history.